Now that Udonis Haslem has retired, Bam Adebayo will take over as the new leader of Heat culture. In an interview with Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, Adebayo discusses his transition into that role, which was endorsed by both Haslem and Dwyane Wade.
“You can’t run from it. The thing about it is it’s not going to be easy,” Adebayo said. “It’s not going to be something that obviously you take for granted. But do I feel like I’m ready? Yes. At this point, I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career in my six years that a lot of dudes haven’t done in their whole career. So being able to one, obviously, have D-Wade in my ear the first year and a half of my career and then having UD all the way through up to this point, it’s prepared me for that role. It’s prepared me for the standard, it’s prepared me for understanding what this looks like and how it’s supposed to be.”
Entering his seventh season in Miami, Adebayo understands the fabric of the organization better than anyone. He’s committed to the same ideas of toughness and physical conditioning that Wade and Haslem emphasized, and he talked about the need to build strong relationships with his teammates so he’ll be able to confront them in difficult times.
Adebayo also looked back on the loss to Denver in the NBA Finals this spring and expressed a hope that it will inspire the team to get back to the Finals.
“I feel like losing should always be a motivation because it’s not only you losing, but it’s a lesson at the end of the day,” he said. “What could we have done better? What could I have done better? What could I have done differently? What can I do this year that I didn’t do last year? There’s stepping stones to that.”
There’s more from Miami:
- Even though Damian Lillard wound up in Milwaukee, trade rumors surrounding the Heat will likely continue, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Winderman notes that the front office tried to move Duncan Robinson‘s contract during the summer and states that the organization considers Kyle Lowry‘s expiring $29.7MM deal to be a trade asset, which is why he wasn’t waived and stretched before the Aug. 31 deadline.
- The Heat’s luxury tax situation means that anyone with guaranteed money is very likely to make the roster, Winderman adds. Miami has 13 players with fully or partially guaranteed contracts, along with two-way players Jamal Cain, Dru Smith and R.J. Hampton, who may contend for the final roster spot.
- Winderman writes in a separate piece that the Heat’s failure to add either Lillard or Jrue Holiday in a deal, combined with the fact that their top two rivals in the East just got better by adding the All-Star guards, represents a worst-case scenario for the club.
- The Heat have “respect” for Reggie Bullock, who reached a buyout with the Spurs on Saturday, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The veteran swingman could provide outside shooting and defense, but Miami will be limited to a veteran’s minimum offer once he clears waivers.